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Apple wants its prototype back. No, not that iPhone 4 prototype from last year; it wants a years-old 3G-equipped MacBook Pro prototype that was on eBay until Apple forced the auction pulled.
Now, Apple wants the prototype, which was purchased from someone on CraigsList by Carl Frega, a North Carolina resident. Originally, Frega intended to use the machine for parts, but after opening it up, he discovered it was a prototype with 3G connectivity.
Instead of parting out the laptop, which was otherwise a 2007 MacBook Pro, Frega decided to restore it, and he invested a decent amount of time and effort, along with new parts. It’s unclear (but doubtful) if Apple would reimburse him for that.
But that’s not all. While we knew Frega was trying to sell the machine on eBay, we didn’t know some of the backstory. Apparently after repairing the machine, Frega first sold it to someone else on CraigsList.
That person, citing “random issues,” took it to the Genius Bar at the Crabtree Valley Mall Apple Store in Raleigh, N.C. However, they wouldn’t work on the machine, as full of non-Apple parts as it was.
So, Frega was sued in small claims court, for selling counterfeit goods. The case almost made it onto the “Judge Mathis” reality TV show, but Frega nixed that. Eventually he was forced to pay the buyer $740.
And that’s when he decided to put it up on eBay. Now, Apple wants it back. This is reminiscent of the iPhone 4 prototype case, in which an early iPhone 4 was left in a bar, but in this case, Frega purchased the item in good faith.
It’s unclear who will win in the case, but considering the auction had reached $70,000 before Apple forced it pulled, we have to feel for him.